Monday, June 29, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6/29

The Yankees are finally out of Houston and have arrived in Anaheim ready to begin their three game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Yankees have an off day in sight on Thursday and a big series looming with the team they are chasing in the American League East, the Tampa Bay Rays, so let's hope they don't get caught looking ahead in this series. Tonight this series begins with CC Sabathia facing off with CJ Wilson for the Yankees. The game will be played at 10:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

After tonight you have three more days including the off day to get your Yankees tickets for the big series with the Rays this weekend. Click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to get those tickets through our friends at Ticket Monster, it supports the blog and gets you in the door for cheap. If you can't make it live then that's not a big problem, simply jump on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) or the comments section of the blog to interact with us during each and every Yankees game.

That's enough rambling out of me it's this guy's bedtime, I'll try and stay up as much as I can though, so I leave you with a "Go Yankees" and a goodnight!

While We Wait: The Legacy of Determination

The Legacy of Determination: Chris Scandaglia’s fight against ALS

The original post can be seen HERE

Baseball has always been a game of passion and hard work. On the field, players defy the human imagination with their feats of glory. However on the field accomplishments can only go so far. Life off the field brings about greater challenges and often even greater outcomes.

Chris Scandaglia of Staten Island is one of the great human beings whose work off the field is greater than the mind can comprehend. Scandaglia, an insurance professional for Allstate, has dedicated the better part of eight years to charity work. The charity he fights for is ALS, (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) commonly known to the world as Lou Gehrig’s disease. However to Scandaglia, the disease is commonly known as the illness that took his grandfather’s life nearly 23 years ago.

Alex Rodriguez , widow Joanna Chiarulli , baby Nicholas, Robinson Cano, and Chris (Courtesy of Chris Scandaglia)
Alex Rodriguez , widow Joanna Chiarulli , baby Nicholas, Robinson Cano, and Chris (Courtesy of Chris Scandaglia)

“I was nine when it happened,” said Scandaglia, referring to his grandfather’s death on December 26th1990, the day after Christmas. “I looked up to my grandfather and always wanted to honor him. This charity is the perfect way I can honor his legacy.”

Scandaglia began the charity in 2006 after discussing with his boss at a previous job ways to improve sales.

“I suggested that for a month, we donate one dollar of every insurance quote made to raise money for ALS,” said Scandaglia. “My boss said go for it and we did it.”

Many of Scadaglia’s co-workers got involved that year and an ironic amount of money was donated.

“We earned $2130 in 2006, the same number as Lou Gehrig’s 2130 consecutive games played streak,” recalled Scandaglia.

From there the charity grew. Scandaglia wanted to do more for ALS research and came up with the idea to help families in need. In 2010, Scandaglia continued his work by holding a fundraiser dinner in honor of his grandfather. It was then he got the idea to make the dinner as popular as possible. He began to contact different agents, including those from the New York Yankees, to see if they would be willing to attend the dinner. As it turned out, the Yankees brought their 2009 World Series trophy to the event. However that wasn’t the only time the Yankees contributed to Scandaglia’s event.

“I made calls and ended up getting some great responses,” said Scandaglia. “Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano came to the dinner in 2012. It was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.”

How does someone get famous Yankees like Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano to attend a fundraiser? According to Scandaglia, it takes “a lot of hard work and patience.” Scandaglia said Alex Rodriguez wouldn’t attend at first under he convinced A-Rod’s agent that it would be a good PR move to come.

It doesn’t matter how Rodriguez got there. What matters is the hard work Scandaglia puts into this charity. He does it by himself every year with no help from anyone.

“Sometimes my family thinks I’m crazy for spending the amount of time I do on this event,” said Scandaglia. “I know it’s worth it. I’m doing something that helps a lot of people.”

In 2012, Scandaglia decided to raise money for a family who suffered due to ALS. He found out Joanna Chiarulli of New York had lost her husband to ALS and sought to dedicate his fundraiser dinner for them.

“In 2012, we raised $10,310 for Joanna and her six month old son Nicholas,” Scandaglia said with a lot of pride in his voice. “It made me happy that the fundraiser was able to help them.”

Genevieve Morton, model Bill Hill husband of ALS wife who died, Yankee Lyle Overbay, Kelly daughter ALS, Scott son, ALS, Chris Scandaglia last 3 on right NY Yankee players Boone Logan, David Phelps, Chris Stewart (Courtesy of Chris Scandaglia)
Genevieve Morton, model Bill Hill husband of ALS wife who died, Yankee Lyle Overbay, Kelly daughter ALS, Scott son, ALS, Chris Scandaglia last 3 on right NY Yankee players Boone Logan, David Phelps, Chris Stewart (Courtesy of Chris Scandaglia)

A good amount of Yankees came to the 2013 event, including Boone Logan, Lyle Overbay, David Phelps and Chris Stewart. The 2013 event was in honor of the Hill family. Bill Hill lost his wife to ALS in on December 29th 2012. Scandaglia was thrilled the 2013 event raised $4612 and hopes the 2014 event will go just as well. There is a special reason why Scandaglia has high hopes for the upcoming event.

“The event for 2014 will be held on May 25, my grandfather’s birthday.” said Scandaglia. “I picked the day to honor hm because he was the reason I started this charity in the first place.”

Long Island Baseball Magazine encourages all of it’s viewers to attend this year’s fundraiser dinner on May 25th 2014 at Da Noi restaurant in Manhattan. More details on the event will be posted on Long Island Baseball Magazine’s website. The cost of the event is $125, with all proceeds going to families who have suffered from ALS. Long Island Baseball Magazine thanks Chris Scandaglia for his efforts and hopes all of the New York community will attend and support this great cause!

For anyone who wants to attend the event or has questions on the event, please contact Chris Scandaglia at or on twitter @ChrisScandaglia

MLB Announces Changes to Home Run Derby press release:

The 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will introduce a new streamlined format this July featuring brackets and timed rounds, Major League Baseball announced today. The 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders will be held on Monday, July 13th at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, home of the Cincinnati Reds, and broadcast live by ESPN and beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

The eight-player contest will be conducted as a single-elimination tournament in which the loser of each bracket is immediately eliminated. Brackets in the first round will be seeded based on 2015 home run totals through July 7th, with ties broken by awarding the higher seed to the batter with more home runs hit since June 15th. If a tie remains, a coin flip will determine the higher seed. In each matchup, the higher seed will hit second.

During each of the three rounds, each batter will have five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible, and any swings that do not result in a home run will not be counted. Timers will count down from five minutes beginning with the release of the first pitch, and any home run hit after the timer reaches one minute remaining will stop the timer immediately when the ball lands in home run territory. The timer will not start again until the batter hits a ball that does not land in home run territory, or swings and misses at a pitch.

Batters may be awarded bonus time during their turn based on the length of their home runs hit. If a batter hits two home runs during a turn that each equal or exceed 420 feet, one minute of bonus time will be added. If one home run during a turn equals or exceeds 475 feet, 30 seconds of bonus time will be added. It is possible for a batter to earn a total bonus of one minute and 30 seconds. All distances will be measured using MLB Advanced Media’s Statcast system.

The batter with the most home runs hit in each matchup will advance to the next round (or win the Derby, if in the third round). Ties in any round will be broken by a 90-second swing-off with no stoppage of time or additional time added. If the batters remain tied after the 90-second swing-off, they will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner. Once the second batter in any matchup hits one more home run than the first batter, the second batter will be declared the winner of the matchup and will not attempt to hit any additional home runs. In addition, each batter will be entitled to one “time out” per round.

In addition to coverage on ESPN and, the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders will be broadcast live on ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN and ESPN Radio in the U.S. as well as ESPN International. Participants for the Home Run Derby will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit

Bracket Format:

  • Single-elimination tournament in which loser of each bracket is immediately eliminated.

  • Seeding based on 2015 home run totals through July 7th, with ties broken by awarding the higher seed to the batter with more home runs hit since June 15th. Any tie thereafter will be broken by a coin flip.

  • In each bracket, the higher seed will hit second.

Round 2
Round 3
Player 1
Player 1/8
Player 8
Winner Rd. 2
Player 4
Player 4/5
Player 5
2015 Home Run Derby Champion
Player 2
Player 2/7
Player 7
Winner Rd. 2
Player 3
Player 3/6
Player 6
  • Five minutes per batter, per round.  Timers start with release of the first pitch.
  • Any home runs hit during the final minute of each turn will stop the timer immediately; timer will not start again until batter hits a ball that is not a home run, or swings and misses at a pitch.

Bonus Time:
  • One minute of bonus time awarded for two home runs that each equal or exceed 420 feet.
  • Thirty seconds of bonus time awarded for one home run that equals or exceeds 475 feet.
  • Both bonuses can be earned by hitting two home runs that equal or exceed 420 feet with one of them reaching 475 feet, resulting in a total bonus of one minute and thirty seconds.
  • Distances will be tracked and posted using MLB Advanced Media’s Statcast.

Home Runs in a Given Round
Distance(s) (ft)
Bonus Period
474  or less
420-474 & 475+; or both 475+

  • Batter with most home runs hit in each matchup will advance to next round.
  • Ties in any round broken by 90-second swing-off with no stoppage of time or additional time added; if a tie remain after the swing-off, batters will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner.
  • Once the second batter hits more than the first batter in any matchup, he will be declared winner and not attempt to hit additional home runs.
  • Each batter entitled to one 45-second “time out” per round.

Brett Gardner - AL Player of the Week & Jacoby Ellsbury's Rehab Assignment

Brett Gardner has been named the American League’s Player of the Week for last week. The New York Yankees outfielder hit an impressive .500 with nine runs scored, two home runs, four doubles and knocked in 6 RBI in six games for New York. This is Gardner’s third AL Player of the Week Award in his career. A big congrats goes out to him.

FYI in case you were wondering Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yankees center fielder, will begin a rehab assignment this week, maybe as early as tonight, and could presumably be with the team in the Bronx Friday night when the team plays host to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Was There A Curse Of The Yankees Captains?

Kid Elberfeld served as the Yankees captain in 1906 and kept the title until the 1909 season was over with the Highlanders. Kid was nicknamed The Tabasco Kid because of his fiery temper and actions both verbally and physically on the field with the umpires. One time while in the minor leagues Kid threw a ball of mud into an umpires open mouth and later in the Major Leagues he assaulted an umpire physically and had to be removed by the police. This was not a stat that was kept up with back in the early 1900's but most historians say that Elberfeld was thrown out of more games than anyone else in his era. Elberfeld managed the Highlanders in 1908 and finished with the worst record in the league with a 27-71 record.

Hal Chase was considered to be the first official Yankees/Highlanders captain when he was named the captain in 1910 and kept the title until 1912. Hal was considered to be the best defensive first baseman in all of baseball and even drew rave reviews from the likes of Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson during his playing career for his glove. Hal's legacy is extremely tainted though with rumors of him betting on baseball games and suspicion in throwing baseball games and purposely losing. This kind of stuff is why we will never see guys like Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson in the MLB Hall of Fame but somehow Hal not only got away with it but is still a member of the hall.

Frank Chance was only the Yankees captain for one season, the 1913 season, and it did not exactly go as planned. The Cubs released him and negotiated to get him on the Yankees after multiple surgeries to remove blood clots in his brain that were caused by being hit in the head by pitches in the 1912 season. The Yankees signed him to a three year deal in 1913 and never played more than 12 games in a single season for the Yankees. The Yankees spent much of the 1913 season in last place but a late season push, including a win in the next to the last game, had the Yankees finish 7th in that season. Not exactly as planned for Frank and the Yankees.

Lou Gehrig was named the Yankees captain in 1935 and would remain the captain until he retired in the 1939 season due to a disease which is commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Lou retired at the young age of 36 so who would know how much more revered he would be had he been able to see the latter years of his 30's in baseball. The Iron Horse played in 2,130 consecutive games which was not surpassed until Cal Ripken Jr. passed it in 1995, a mere 56 years later. Gehrig finished with great stats in his career but was absolutely decimated by ALS. Lou would retire from baseball in the 1939 season at the age of 36 stating that he was "The Luckiest Man On The Face Of The Earth" and would die only two years later in 1941 at the age of 38.

Thurman Munson was named the Yankees captain in 1976 and kept the title until 1979. The Yankees would lose the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in 1976 but would win back to back World Series in 1977 and 1978 behind the bat of Reggie Jackson. The Yankees would not make an appearance in the 1979 World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates beating the Baltimore Orioles but what else happened in 1979 would hurt the Yankees and Munson more. Munson owned his own plane and was taking flying lessons because he got so homesick and wanted to be able to go to Cleveland to his family whenever he wanted. Thurman was practicing taking off and crashed his plane on August 2, 1979 and died.

Don Mattingly was named the Yankees captain in 1991 and would keep the title until he retired after the 1995 season. The Yankees were generally a terrible team when Don Mattingly was on the team only making the playoffs once in his tenure in 1995. A strike shortened 1994 season would have probably seen the Yankees in the playoffs as well but we will never know but the greed of the MLB Players Association is a discussion for another day. Mattingly injured his back in 1987 though and was never the same after that season and would prematurely end his career after allegedly horse playing with teammate Bob Shirley.

Derek Jeter has five World Series rings,a Rookie of the Year award, 13 All Star Game appearances, a World Series MVP award, has gotten an MVP vote in 12 seasons and finished as high as 2nd place in 2006, has five each of Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger awards, and would have earned $261,159,364 in his baseball career before any kind of endorsements and such by the time his current contract was up after the 2014 season. What curse? If there was one Mr. Derek Sanderson Jeter definitely broke that.

ICYMI: Hamels Would Accept Trade to New York or Texas

The Philadelphia Phillies are said to be open for business in the trade market and are already fielding offers for the likes of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Ben Revere, Jonathan Papelbon and Cole Hamels as the team finally begins their rebuilding process. While the market is pretty quiet on most fronts right now for all players the market for Hamels is just starting to simmer as many teams find themselves needing starting pitching help at this year’s trading deadline. No front runner for Hamels has been announced yet and one reason for that may be Hamels health situation, he missed his last start with a hamstring injury but looks to be in line to start tomorrow in the Bronx, and another reason may be the fact that the lefty has a full no-trade clause written into his contract.

Hamels spoke to KHOU 11 Sports in Houston recently after weeks of rumors that the Houston Astros would be interested in acquiring the LHP’s services and Hamels immediately shot down any idea of that. Hamels stated that he would not accept a deal to the Astros but would accept a deal to the New York Yankees or the Texas Rangers, both American League teams.

Hamels is just 5-5 this season but he does have a 2.96 ERA with 103 strikeouts pitching behind the worst team and the worst offense in all of Major League Baseball. Hamels would be a great, albeit expensive, addition to any contending team’s starting rotation but I can’t see that addition happening here in the Bronx. Hamels is owed $23.5 million this season and will make $70.5 million through the 2018 season which may be too rich for a Yankees team that is looking to be out from under those bad and lengthy contracts by the time the 2017 season comes to a close.

However unlikely a deal is to happen you never can 100% count the Yankees in or out of anything with GM Brian Cashman at the helm so I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6/29

The New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will begin a three game series on the west coast tonight after the Yankees recently completed a four game series with the Houston Astros. The Yankees have three more games in Los Angeles before traveling on an off day Thursday and before returning home on Friday to play host to the Tampa Bay Rays. First thing is first though as the Yankees send CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with CJ Wilson for the Angels. The game will be played at 10:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Sabathia is fresh off his third straight no-decision this season when he did not factor into the decision against the Philadelphia Phillies. CC allowed six runs on right hits and did not last five innings in the game for the Yankees. 

  • Wilson has been more than effective lately as he has posted a 2-1 record with a 3.93 ERA and 20 K's in his last three starts. Wilson did have his shortest start of his season last time out though lasting just 3.1 IP in a start against the Houston Astros. This will be the second time this season Wilson faces the Yankees after allowing six runs in seven innings in his first start.

You always want to begin a series with a win and end a series with a win so let's hope the Yankees are paying attention to this post and start off tonight with a victory. It won't be easy but the Yankees have had their successes against Wilson in his career so it is definitely far from impossible. With that said, Go Yankees!

Most Popular Article of the Week: Zack Hample: The Exclusive Interview by The Greedy Pinstripes

Zack Hample is the lucky man that caught Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit that cleared the right field wall into the Bleacher Creatures, maybe you've heard of him? Zack's relationship with the Yankees fans immediately took a hit when he balked at the chance to return the historic baseball to Alex and the Yankees and has been on the defensive ever since. We have seen Mr. Hample on Good Day America, Conan O'Brien, Sportscenter and on many other avenues and today he lent his ear to us here at The Greedy Pinstripes. I admit that when I first sent the request to Zack I didn't expect to get a response but I had to have a horse in the race if I wanted a chance to win, to my surprise Zack responded. Zack was excited to be able to speak to the Yankees fans directly and give his side of the whole A Rod and 3,000 hit situation and I was more than happy to bring him an avenue. This is his avenue and this is his interview, Mr. Zack Hample:

The Greedy Pinstripes:

I think the first question my readers and Yankees fans everywhere want to know is are you a Yankees fan or would you consider yourself a general MLB fan?

Zack Hample:

I'm not a Yankees fan, but I'm not your typical Yankees hater either. I know it might sound weird, but I don't have a favorite team. For the last twenty years, I've rooted more for individual players, probably because I've attended games at 51 different major league stadiums and gotten a bit jaded in the process. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera were two of my all-time favorites, not just on the Yankees, but in all of baseball, so whenever they were directly involved in the game, I rooted for them. I still root for the team in certain situations depending on who's hitting, pitching, etc.


Can you put into words how much of a tug of war is going on inside your head right now when faced with the question of whether to give the ball back or not?


The president of a major auction house told me that the ball could be worth $500,000, but you know what? On a personal, sentimental level, it's worth much more to me than that, so I'd rather keep it than sell it. Of course it's also worth a lot to Alex Rodriguez, so I'm taking that into consideration and considering all my options, including using the ball to raise a whole lot of money and awareness for my favorite children's baseball charity, Pitch In For Baseball. The point is, this is a HUGE decision, and I'm incredibly conflicted.


Can you share some and maybe explain the spectrum of the uproar you are receiving by Yankees fans and non-Yankees fans alike? I assume your most hateful responses have come from Yankees fans, are they any that are “PG” enough that you feel comfortable sharing?


Bald Vinny has said the nastiest things on the biggest platform. I don't care to repeat them here, nor do I feel like getting into a war or words. I can deal with being insulted, but I don't appreciate false accusations, so I'd like to let everyone know that I don't knock over little kids. Despite what Vinny and various media outlets are claiming, it's simply not true. Come watch me during batting practice for five minutes or for the next twenty-five years and you won't see me knock anyone down. I've never done it -- not once in more than 1,200 games! It's not who I am or what I do. Before every single pitch is thrown, I glance to my left and right and often look over my shoulder to make sure I have some room to move in case a ball flies my way. I'm hyper-aware of my surroundings and take special care not to cause physical harm to anyone.


Do you have any regrets for reportedly tweeting out, to paraphrase, that if you caught the 3,000 hit home run ball you would give Alex a “dummy ball and the finger?”


I deeply regret that. I didn't have many followers then, and of course I had no idea that I'd actually end up snagging the ball, so I was just trying to be snarky. But it was a dumb, unnecessary, negative thing to say. Most people say things that they wish they could take back, and for me, this is it.


I think everyone would like to hear your stance on Alex, the game of baseball in the steroid era and his repeated offenses and how it’s affected and shaped the game.


Some of my favorite players of all time -- guys I practically worshiped as a kid -- turned out to be steroid users. It really hurt, and I instantly stopped rooting for them. A-Rod is no different. I understand that many people, especially Yankees fans, still love him, but I hope that people will respect the way I feel.


If you can get into it and name specifics what are some of the things that the Yankees have offered you?


Initially they offered me a chance to meet A-Rod, have my own press conference at Yankee Stadium, appear on the YES Network during the game, receive Legends tickets and all sorts of signed memorabilia including balls, bats and jerseys. I told them I appreciated it, but that the ball was worth more to me than anything they could possibly offer. I had no intention of selling it at first. I was actually planning to keep it forever because it really was THAT meaningful to me. At the very least, I knew I needed to leave the stadium that night with the ball still in my possession. I needed to think about it.


Has Alex Rodriguez tried to contact you directly in any way?


No, and I'm sure he won't. The Yankees said I could meet him if I give the ball back, so if he were to reach out to me, that would diminish their offer. I don't blame A-Rod for staying out of it.


Would this have mattered at all to you if you were the one to catch Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit and not A-Rod's 3,000th hit?


If I had caught Jeter's 3,000th hit, I still would've wanted to leave the stadium with the ball and think about it. I don't think that's unreasonable.


For those who haven’t heard about your blog,, and your books, "How to Snag Major League Baseballs", "Watching Baseball Smarter" and "The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals and Secrets Beneath the Stitches,"tell us how that came about and maybe share a few trade secrets for those of us who have not read the books or seen the blog.


I wrote my first book, How To Snag Major League Baseballs, when I was 19. It was my dad's idea. He was a writer, so he helped me brainstorm and then organize my ideas into an outline. The next book, Watching Baseball Smarter, was his idea too, but he didn't help in any way until the first draft was complete and I wanted his opinion. The third book, The Baseball, was my own idea. My publisher approached me and said they wanted me to write another book, so I worked with them to develop the idea. Then I signed a contract for it up front, quit my regular job, and worked on the book full-time for 18 months. Trade secrets in terms of snagging baseballs? The number one piece of advice is to make sure you have some room to move. I always make sure not to get trapped in the middle of a long row of people, but at Yankee Stadium that's tough because it always so crowded.


Surely you have a fourth book in the works after this whole A-Rod ordeal, any ideas for a title?


I'm considering a bunch of different ways to write about the whole A-Rod thing and share the story with everyone, but I'm not sure if it's book-worthy.


How many baseballs have you caught as of doing this interview?


Including batting practice and all the various ways that I get them, my current total is 8,172. That includes 159 foul balls during games, 32 home runs, and one ground-rule double.


Will your foul ball grabbing record ever be broken and where do you think your 10,000th ball will be caught?


It's certainly possible for someone even crazier and more obsessed to break my record, but I'd say it's unlikely. Camden Yards is my favorite stadium, so I'm thinking it'd be cool to snag my 10,000th ball there.


Is the A-Rod ball the highest profile ball you’ve caught? Do you think it is worth the most monetarily?


It's the highest-profile ball by far -- no question about it -- and I would say that it's worth more by itself than my entire collection.


We’ve heard stories of you catching Barry Bonds 724th home run ball and consecutive home runs inside Yankee Stadium in 2008, which would you say in your favorite memory? Is there a milestone home run ball we missed or don’t know about?


Prior to A-Rod's 3,000th hit, my favorite ball that I caught was the last home run that the Mets ever hit at Shea Stadium. I also caught a Derek Jeter homer in 2012. That was his 3,262nd career hit. And here's another random one that remains as one of my most cherished baseballs: the final out from Mariano Rivera's 313th career save. Later in his career, he saved all the final-out balls, but at that time, he used to toss them into the crowd when he walked off the field.


This isn’t really Yankees related but how did the whole controversy over Mike Trout’s first home run ball come about and how do you think you got stuck in the middle of it?


I'm not aware of any controversy. I caught his first career homer in 2011 at Camden Yards, and I gave the ball back to him after the game, no questions asked, other than to be the person to hand it to him.


Tell us about the charity work that you do with “Pitch in for Baseball” and the work you do with BIGS Sunflower Seeds and your fans to donate money to underprivileged children so they can have baseball and softball equipment.


Since 2009 I've been using my collection to raise money for Pitch In For Baseball, a non-profit charity that provides baseball and softball equipment to underprivileged kids all over the world. Basically, people pledge money for every ball that I snag -- kind of like how your friend will run a marathon and ask you to pledge some money for every mile -- and it all goes to the charity. I've raised nearly $40,000 with the help of BIGS Sunflower Seeds, who sponsored me in 2013 and sent me to all 30 stadiums and made a large donation to the charity. If people Google my name along with the word "charity," they'll find more info about how it works.


Speaking of charity and interviews, is Conan still the worst interview you’ve done since all this went down? Also how many interviews do you think you’ve done since catching the 3,000 hit ball?


Yup, Conan was the worst. When I tried to talk about the charity, he cut me off twice, and when I forced it into the conversation, he made fun of me. He wasn't interested in anything I had to say -- just making me look bad and getting laughs. I did 16 interviews the day after snagging the A-Rod ball, and I've done approximately 35 more since then. There are still at least 100 interview requests that I haven't even responded to. I needed a break this week, so I went to a couple of Yankee games and then spent an evening hanging out with friends. I've also had to stop scheduling interviews because I'm losing my voice.


Is there anything you want to say to the Yankees fans directly? The stage is all yours.


I'm sorry for the negative comments I made about A-Rod. If you guys can forgive him for using performance-enhancing drugs, I hope you'll forgive me for some of the dumb stuff I've said. The Yankees have been so kind to me throughout this whole process, as have most of the fans I've met in person at the Stadium, and I truly appreciate that. I'm hoping to work out a way for A-Rod to get the ball back and for the charity to receive a huge donation and for myself to get some cool experiences and perks at the stadium, but it's taking time. That's why it's dragging on -- not because I'm holding the ball for ransom or trying to get more interview requests. If you see me at the Stadium at some point, please don't hesitate to come say hi.

Zack, thank you so much for probably the most interesting and most hyped interview I have ever done in my years as a blogger. I appreciate you doing this interview for us as the owner of the blog and as a Yankees fan because I was able to get answers to the questions that I and every Yankees fan wanted after the home run was hit. While the saga continues of whether Mr. Hample will or won't give the ball back to Alex we can at least make our judgments now knowing both sides of the story.

I have found a whole new respect for Zack after doing this interview and see him in an entirely new light, I hope that everyone reading this can as well. I told Zack when I asked for the interview privately and I will reiterate it here on the blog, I was hyper-emotional when the ball was hit and it was not immediately given back. Like Zack did, I said some things that I am not proud of and I didn't mean and I apologized to him and told him it was nothing personal, if he hadn't forgiven then I don't think you would be reading this now. I think when all is said and done Pitch In For Baseball will get their donation for a very worth cause, Zack will get more than ample perks at the Stadium, Yankees fans will forgive and forget and Alex will get the ball.

The History Of The Yankees Captains

There have been 14 players named the team captain in the Highlanders/Yankees history. Some Yankees/Highlanders players are listed as captains but the first to be officially recognized as the Yankees captain was Hal Chase in 1910. Three of the first four Yankees "captains" were not officially recognized as Yankees captains but I have included them as well with the 11 official captains in our history.

Let's take a look at the complete list now.

(P) Clark Griffith 
Spent 1891-1914 as a Yankees player
Spent 1903-1905 as a Yankees captain

(SS) Kid Elberfeld 
Spent 1898-1914 as a Yankees player
Spent 1906-1909 as a Yankees captain

(1B) Hal Chase #1
Spent 1905-1919 as a Yankees player
Spent 1910-1912 as a Yankees captain

(1B) Frank Chance 
Spent 1898-1914 as a Yankees player
Spent 1913 as a Yankees captain

(SS) Roger Peckinpaugh #2 
Spent 1910-1927 as a Yankees player
Spent 1914-1921 as a Yankees captain

(OF) Babe Ruth #3
Spent 1914-1935 as a Yankees player
Spent 1922 as a Yankees captain

(SS) Everett Scott #4
Spent 1914-1926 as a Yankees player
Spent 1922-1925 as a Yankees captain

(1B) Lou Gehrig #5
Spent 1923-1939 as a Yankees player
Spent 1935-1939 as a Yankees captain

(C) Thurman Munson #6
Spent 1969-1979 as a Yankees player
Spent 1976-1979 as a Yankees captain

(3B) Graig Nettles #7
Spent 1967-1988 as a Yankees player
Spent 1982-1984 as a Yankees captain

(2B) Willie Randolph #8
Spent 1975-1992 as a Yankees player
Spent 1986-1988 as a Yankees co-captain

(P) Ron Guidry #9
Spent 1975-1988 as a Yankees player
Spent 1986-1988 as a Yankees co-captain

(1B) Don Mattingly #10
Spent 1982-1995 as a Yankees player
Spent 1991-1995 as a Yankees captain

(SS) Derek Jeter #11
Spent 1995-2014 as a Yankees player
Spent 2003- 2014 as a Yankees captain

Four Yankees captains have been elected into the Hall of Fame, and obviously it will be five when Derek Jeter retires, including Clark Griffith, Frank Chance, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig. It is really amazing to think that players like Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto, or Catfsh Hunter to name a few have never been named a Yankees captain. It is also interesting to point out that Babe Ruth has only been a captain for a single season in 1922. George Steinbrenner kind of watered down the whole prestige behind being the Yankees captain, in my opinion, when he handed the honor out six times in his tenure as Yankees owner but Derek Jeter is doing his best to make the best of the situation and bring the prestige back to the most honored spot in all of baseball, the captain of the New York Yankees.